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Lens barrel and imaging optical system

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20120307385 patent thumbnailZoom

Lens barrel and imaging optical system


A lens barrel of the present invention is provided with an electric section having a plurality of sliding portions that slide along the predetermined conductor pattern. The electric section is provided with a thin-sheet electric section body supporting the plurality of sliding portions, and a reinforcing portion is provided at the electric section body. Therefore, in the lens barrel 1, the reinforcing portion increases the deformation resistance of the electric section body that supports the sliding portions.

Inventor: Yoshifumi Mitani
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120307385 - Class: 359824 (USPTO) - 12/06/12 - Class 359 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120307385, Lens barrel and imaging optical system.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a lens barrel of a camera or the like and an imaging optical system provided with such lens barrel.

2. Background Art

Lens barrels, for example, of cameras are often provided with a position detection device for performing position control of a movable lens group. For example, when a movable lens group is moved with respect to a fixed tube by drive operating an annular lens engagement member that is engaged with the movable lens group, the lens drive position is detected by detecting the relative positions of the lens engagement member and the fixed tube. The technique for performing such position detection is disclosed, for example, in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2007-17679. An encoder device disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2007-17679 is provided with an electric section body in the form of a thin sheet and a plurality of sliding pieces having a sliding portion at the distal end and supported in the arranged state at the electric section body which constitutes an electric section (zoom brush). In the encoder device, the electric section body is screwed to an annular lens engagement member (zoom operation ring) and the movable lens group moves in the optical axis direction following the rotation of the lens engagement member. The sliding portion slides along the conductor pattern of the flexible printed board that is held at the fixed tube (fixed portion) and has the conductor pattern. Further, in the encoder device, the relative positions of the lens engagement member and the fixed tube are detected by detecting the combination of conductive states of the conductor pattern and the sliding portion.

However, in the encoder device described in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2007-17679, for example, when the thin-sheet electric section body is screwed to the lens engagement member, the electric section body is sometimes deflected in the arrangement direction of the sliding portions. Where such deformation occurs, the sliding portion can come into contact with the adjacent line of the conductor pattern when sliding along the conductor pattern.

Further, since the electric section is screwed to the lens engagement member, the lens engagement member is required to be thick enough so that the threaded hole for the screw could be formed therein and the space for arranging the screw is required. For this reason, the dimension of the lens engagement member in the diametrical direction increases and the lens engagement member is difficult to miniaturize. Furthermore, when the electric section is screwed to the lens engagement member, the position of the electric section with respect to the conductor pattern is difficult to adjust. For example, where the lens engagement member is displaced with respect to the fixed tube or an error has occurred in the production of the printed board, the electric section is difficult to set at the predetermined position with respect to the printed board.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been created with consideration for the above-described problems and it is an object thereof to provide a lens barrel equipped with an electric section in which an electric section body that supports sliding portions is made resistant to deformation and also to provide an imaging optical system using the lens barrel.

The lens barrel and imaging optical system in accordance with the present invention are provided with an electric section having a plurality of sliding portions that slide along a predetermined conductor pattern, the electric section is provided with a thin-sheet electric section body that supports the plurality of sliding portions, and a reinforcing section is provided at the electric section body. Therefore, in such lens barrel and imaging optical system, the reinforcing portion increases the deformation resistance of the electric section body that supports the sliding portions.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading the following detailed description along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective drawing of the principal portion of the lens barrel in an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a half-sectional view of the imaging optical system provided with the lens barrel of the embodiment;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plane view of the electric section used in the lens barrel and imaging optical system shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the principal portion of the lens barrel;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along the V-V section in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view along the VI-VI section in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged explanatory drawing of the principal portion of the lens barrel using the electric section of another embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view along the VIII-VIII section in FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is a half-sectional view of the imaging optical system provided with the lens barrel of the other embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments of the present invention will be described hereinbelow with reference to the accompanying drawings. The components assigned with like reference numerals in the drawings are like components and the redundant explanation thereof is omitted.

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective drawing of the principal portion of the lens barrel in one embodiment. FIG. 2 is a half-sectional view of the imaging optical system provided with the lens barrel in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is an enlarged plane view of the electric section. The explanation below is conducted by taking the X direction shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as the direction forward (object side) and Y direction as the direction rearward (image side). FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the principal portion of the lens barrel shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along the V-V section in FIG. 4. FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view along the VI-VI section in FIG. 4.

As shown in FIG. 2, an imaging optical system of the embodiment is provided with a lens barrel 1 and lens groups 31, 32 accommodated in the lens barrel 1 as shown in FIG. 2.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the lens barrel 1 is provided with a barrel body 10 and an electric section 5 attached to the barrel body 10. The barrel body 10 is provided with a cylindrical fixed tube 2 and drive members 40, 41 that drive the lens group 31. The drive members 40, 41 are rotatably held at the fixed tube 2. The drive members 40, 41 may be configured to enable translatory motion.

A printed board 8 is held at the outer circumference of the fixed tube 2 by attaching with fixing means such as an adhesive.

The printed board 8 is a constitution member of a position detection device and constitutes the position detection device that detects the position of the lens group 31 relative to the fixed tube 2 with the electric section 5 and the like. In the present embodiment, the printed board 8 is, for example, a flexible printed board. The printed board 8 may be also a rigid board. In such case, the drive members 40, 41 preferably perform translatory motion. As shown in FIG. 4, the printed board 8 is provided with a conductor pattern 81.

The conductor pattern 81 of the present embodiment is provided with a plurality of conductive portions 82 formed so as to extend in a longitudinal direction with a predetermined spacing in a width direction and non-conductive portions 83 formed between the conductive portions 82 adjacent in the width direction. In FIG. 4, the width direction is the XY direction which is along the axial direction of the fixed tube 2, and the longitudinal direction is perpendicular to the width direction.

The conductor pattern 81 of the printed board 8 configured in the above-described manner is attached with an adhesive to the outer circumferential surface of the fixed tube 2 so that the longitudinal direction extends in the circumferential direction of the fixed tube 2, and the conductive portions 82 are connected by an electric wire (not shown in the figure) to a control unit (not shown in the figure) provided at the fixed tube 2.

Returning to FIGS. 1 and 2, in the fixed tube 2, a mount member 22 is fixedly attached to the rear end side (Y direction in FIG. 2) of the fixed tube 2, with an outer tube 21 being interposed therebetween. The barrel body 10 is mounted on a camera body (not shown in the figures) by connecting the mount member 22 to the camera body.

In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, an optical system that forms an optical image of an object (imaging object) is provided with the movable lens group 31 that moves relative to the fixed tube 2 and the fixed lens group 32 that does not move relative to the fixed tube 2. Thus, the optical system of the present embodiment is of a front lens fixed type.

The movable lens group 31 is constituted by one or a plurality of lenses, or by plurality of lens groups. The movable lens group 31 is held by a movable lens group holding frame 31a. The movable lens group holding frame 31a is provided with a rod-like (in the present embodiment, round rod-like) engagement protrusion 31b.

The engagement protrusion 31b is slidably inserted into a guide groove 24 (elongated groove) provided along the axial direction of the fixed tube 2, and the movable lens group holding frame 31a is held at the inner circumference of the fixed tube 2 so that the movable lens group holding frame can move in the axial direction of the fixed tube 2. In this state the optical axis and the center axis of the fixed tube 2 coincide.

In the present embodiment, the fixed lens group 32 is provided in front of the movable lens group 31 and immovably held by a fixed lens group holding frame 32b at the inner circumference of the fixed tube 2.

In the present embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the drive member is provided with the lens engagement member 40 and the drive operation member 41 (shown in FIG. 2) that operates the lens engagement member 40. As shown in FIG. 1, the lens engagement member 40 has a cylindrical (annular) shape.

A section holding portion 42 that holds the electric section 5 is provided at the outer circumference of the lens engagement member 40. The section holding portion 42 is provided with a body receptacle 42a and a locking portion receptacle 42b (shown in FIG. 5).

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the body receptacle 42a is formed to face diametrically outward and receives one face 51a of the electric section body 51 of the below-described electric section 5. The locking portion receptacle 42b is formed to face diametrically inward at the side opposite that of the body receptacle 42a at a position adjacent to the body receptacle 42a in the circumferential direction and receives another face 51b, on the side opposite that of the one face 51a, of the electric section body 51 in a locking piece 54 serving as a locking portion of the below-described electric section 5.

In the present embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the locking portion receptacle 42b is constituted by respective inner surfaces of a pair of holding pieces 42c. These holding pieces 42c are provided to protrude, so that openings 57 are formed at both sides in the circumferential direction, toward each other and separated from each other by a predetermined distance in the axial direction, and the locking portion receptacle 42b located on the inner surface thereof is provided at a predetermined distance t diametrically outward from the body receptacle 42a.

Further, a cam groove 43 that slidably engages with the engagement protrusion 31b, as shown in FIG. 1, is provided at the inner circumference of the lens engagement member 40. The cam groove 43 is formed to extend obliquely forward at a predetermined angle to the axial direction and circumferential direction.

As shown in FIG. 2, the lens engagement member 40 is held at the fixed tube 2 rotatably around the center axis of the fixed tube 2 (about the optical axis) at the inner circumferential side of the outer tube 21 and the outer circumferential side of the fixed tube 2.

In this state, the distal end of the engagement protrusion 31b that is fitted into the guide groove 24 of the fixed tube 2 and protrudes from the inner groove 24 is fitted into and engaged with the cam groove 41 of the lens engagement member 40, and the engagement protrusion 31b, which is engaged with the cam groove 41, moves along the guide groove 24 of the fixed tube 2 following the rotation of the lens engagement member 40. As a result, the movable lens 31 moves forward and backward along the optical axis direction with respect to the fixed tube 2.

The drive member 41 is provided with a manually operated ring 44 (shown in FIG. 2), which is connected to the lens engagement member 40, and an autofocus motor (not shown in the figures), and the lens engagement member 40 is driven and rotated by the operation of either of the ring and the motor.

More specifically, the manually operated ring 44 is rotatably held at the fixed tube 2 so that the ring can be manually rotated at the outer circumferential side of the fixed tube 2 on the front side of the outer tube 21. Further, the manually operated ring 44 is connected to a gear group (not shown in the figure) provided at the fixed tube 2. This gear group is connected to the lens engagement member 40, and the rotation of the manually operated ring 44 is transmitted by the gear group to the lens engagement member 40. The manually operated ring 44 is not shown in FIG. 1.

The autofocus motor is provided at the outer circumference of the fixed tube 2 and connected to the gear group separately from the manually operated ring 44. Where the autofocus motor is started, the rotation thereof is transmitted by the gear group to the lens engagement member 40.

The electric section 5 is described below. In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, the electric section 5 is provided with the electric section body 51 and a plurality (in the present embodiment, four) of sliding pieces 52 supported on the electric section body 51.

Each sliding piece 52 is provided with the sliding portion 53 at the distal end thereof. In the present embodiment, the distal end side of each sliding piece 52 is divided in two. Therefore, each sliding piece 52 is provided with two sliding portions 53.

These sliding pieces 52 are arranged with a predetermined spacing along the width direction (Z-Z direction) of the electric section body 51. The sliding pieces 52 extend in the direction (W-W direction) perpendicular to the width direction, and the proximal end of each sliding piece 52 is fixedly supported at one end of the electric section body 51 in the abovementioned perpendicular direction.

In the present embodiment, the sliding pieces 52 are formed integrally with the electric section body 51 and provided in an extending condition from one end of the electric section body 51 in the abovementioned perpendicular direction.

The electric section body 51 is constituted by a thin-sheet conductor of a substantially rectangular shape. In the present embodiment, the material thereof is stainless steel (SUS) and the thickness is about 0.1 mm. Locking pieces 54 are provided at both ends of the electric section body 51 in the width direction (Z-Z direction), which is the arrangement direction of the sliding portions 53. These locking pieces 54 serve as locking portions that hold the electric section 5 at the section holding portion 42 provided at the lens engagement member 40 of the barrel body 10. In the present embodiment, an operation piece 56 which is grasped and operated, for example, when the electric section body 51 is held, is provided at the end of the electric section body 51.

The locking pieces 54 protrude by a predetermined amount in the width direction from the electric section body 51 at both ends in the width direction.

Further, a rib-like protruding portion 55 is provided between the two locking pieces 54 in the electric section body 51, that is, at the same position as the locking pieces 54 in the direction perpendicular to the width direction, which is the arrangement direction of the sliding portions 53 in the electric section body 51. The rib-like protruding portion 55 is a reinforcing portion that reinforces the electric section body 51 to make it resistant to flexural deformation in the abovementioned arrangement direction. In the present embodiment, the rib-like protruding portion 55 is formed along the width direction (Z-Z direction), thereby further increasing the resistance to flexural deformation in the arrangement direction.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120307385 A1
Publish Date
12/06/2012
Document #
13482061
File Date
05/29/2012
USPTO Class
359824
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
02B7/04
Drawings
9



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